Sunday, February 24, 2013


Win a copy of LIONEL'S GRAND ADVENTURE (Ends 2/25) 
Check out the KID LIT BLOG HOP! (Ends 2/26)
Win a copy of HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda (Ends 2/27)
Win a copy of BREAKING POINT by Kristen Simmons (Ends 3/1)


Ally Malinenko
Antennae Books
Middle grade
352 pp.

…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert!  It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anybody!)
Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud going back nearly five hundred years.  Is that why is the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s.  But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in the tomb of that bald guy with the goatee? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?
In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

A warm welcome to Ally Malinenko! I got an email from Ally not long ago introducing me to her book, LIZZY SPEARE, and I have to say I was totally intrigued by the story, the character and the cool comic-like cover art. I had to invite her over to my blog for a visit. She has graciously agreed to giveaway a copy of her book, so make sure to enter to win after her interview below!


1.     1. Describe your book in one sentence.

It ain’t easy being a Shakespeare

2. What inspired you to write this story?

I’ve always been a Bardolator – which is the name they give to crazies like me who obsess about Shakespeare. I also have always loved mythology and middle grade. So I took all three and mashed them together and voila -  we have Lizzy Speare.
3.  Who is your favorite villain in children's literature and why?

Oh! Good question. My favorite villain is definitely the White Witch from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. She’s so deliciously evil I get chills just thinking about her. 
4. Tell us about your typical writing day.

I get up at 5 am to write before I go to work (I’m a librarian). I stumble around until I get some tea in me, feed the cat, put on the computer, turn on the classical station. Then I try to get as much done as possible in the 2 hours I have before I have to get ready for work. Then I walk 5 miles and think about what I did, what I want to do the next day, etc. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
5. What is your favorite book-to-film adaptation?

Probably The Last Unicorn. Amazing book, amazing film. I met Peter Beagle at the last Comic Con and blubbered like a fool about how much his work meant to me. I’m a total spaz.
6. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m working on the next Lizzy Speare book right now. It’s tentatively called Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate. And I’ve also got a big hot mess that is a YA scifi book about chess, street kids, time travel, and parallel universes that needs a ton of work. And finally I have a zygote of a book that is about the time I fell off a waterfall in high school. So yeah, I’m keeping busy! 


Ally Malinenko is giving away a copy of LIZZY SPEAR to one lucky reader! To be eligible to win, please fill out the rafflecopter below. U.S. only, please. 
This giveaway will end on March  18th.


  1. Thanks for having me over! I had a great time.

  2. This looks like a fun book. It is a great concept. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the review, interview, and chance to win the book.

  3. This book looks like SUCH fun! I can't wait to read about Lizzy. I am a huge fan of The Last Unicorn book and movie- so I feel like I know the author because of that connection. Thanks for the chance to win and for letting me know about this fun series. :)

  4. I realized that I forgot to answer the question and the Rafflecopter isn't showing up. I believe it asked who my favorite villain is... If so- it is Snape (or The White Witch). If it was favorite adventure characer (I think it was one or the other)- I would pick Percy Jackson.

  5. Rosi - Thanks so much! I had the chance to meet Peter Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn this past fall. He was amazing!

    And DMS - Snape is number 2 on my list of all time bad guys - though he wasn't too bad was he? Also, how about Count Olaf?